Displaying posts published in

December 2017

African states may follow Trump Jerusalem embassy move: Tanzania’s speaker

“Whatever Israel wants, we in Ghana will go by that, because that is essentially an internal decision”

While the Trump administration has been hit with a barrage of warnings that is stands to throw the Middle East into chaos if it recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the possible move has garnered support among Israel’s allies in Africa.

In interviews with i24NEWS on Tuesday, parliamentary leaders from Tanzania and Ghana visiting Israel to celebrate their collaboration as part of the “Power Africa” initiative, expressed support for an American policy shift on the holy city.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Job Ndugai, began his interview by emphasizing the importance of being in Jerusalem, where the Israeli parliament sits, and later expressed his outright support of Israel’s capital as an appropriate place for foreign embassies.

“It is a very commendable decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I believe it will be followed suit by several African countries, Tanzania included, to move said quarters from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, because we believe where the parliament is — I am a speaker of parliament — then the government should be there and embassies should be there too.”

When asked about the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the speaker of Ghana’s parliament Aaron Mike Oquaye also affirmed that country’s support for Israel on the issue, saying, “whatever Israel wants, we in Ghana will go by that, because that is essentially an internal decision.”

Israel annexed Jerusalem after its victory in the 1967 Six Day War, and sees the city as its undivided capital. However the Palestinians covet the Arab-majority eastern parts of the city as the capital of their hoped-for future state.

When questioned on appeals from the Palestinian Authority and their supporters to disavow support for Israel, the senior Tanzanian MP said, “we see no harm in having relations with Israel, actually we see very many benefits in having been closer and closer with Israel.”

His views where echoed by Oquaye, who said that the West African state, one of West Africa’s rising economies, strongly supports of Israel and is keen to deepen economic relations, as there was “not much [economic] cooperation” in the past.

Daryl McCann Jerusalem Bound

This essay first appeared at Quadrant Online in January, 2017.
Today, as President Donald Trump makes it official
and recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is well worth a reprise

The last time Arabs ruled eastern Jerusalem and the Old City all but one of the Jewish Quarter’s 35 synagogues was demolished. Trump’s pledge to recognise the city as the capital of Israel will go a long way towards preventing history from repeating itself.

As a candidate in the 2016 election season Donald Trump often talked of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was easy enough to dismiss. After all, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had made the same promise before winning the White House.

This time around might be different. For a start, David Friedman sounds like a very different kind of U.S. ambassador to Israel. Here’s Friedman responding to Trump endorsing him for the post: “I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Should the United States relocate its embassy to Jerusalem? A lot of opinion in Australia is against it, although Tony Abbott saw merit in the idea. Australia joining a move by President Trump to shift its embassy to Jerusalem could “demonstrate its unswerving support for Israel, as the Middle East’s only liberal, pluralist democracy”. Members of the Turnbull government rebuffed “talkative” Abbott’s latest idea. Shifting the embassy would exacerbate an already problematic situation, especially with regards to the “two-state solution”. Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce referred to Abbott’s comments as “not helpful”, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gave her former leader short shrift: “The Australian government does not have any plans to move the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Greg Barton, professor in global Islamic studies at Deakin University, made this case for retaining the status quo:

“The future of Israel for Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Israelis and for people living on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank depends upon trust and negotiation…If we went ahead and moved our embassy, following suit after the Americans to Jerusalem, we would be closing off doors of opportunity to play that mediating role.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s, not surprisingly, took an even harder line, and warned that changing the US embassy would unleash a “crisis we will not be able to come out from” for “the peace process in the Middle East and even peace in the world”. Departing Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to be reading from the same script, characterising the planned embassy change as dangerous: “You’d have an explosion, an explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps in Israel itself, but throughout the region.”

But so many explosions are already taking place in the Middle East and none have anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Syria’s civil war alone has resulted resulting in as many as 470,000 deaths. Perhaps this outgoing secretary of state might have found better things to do than trying to foist on Mahmoud Abbas a Palestinian mini-state (the West Bank and East Jerusalem) instead of his real goal, a fully-fledged Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

On Strzok, Let’s Wait for the Evidence The fact that an FBI agent involved in the Clinton emails investigation was reportedly a partisan Democrat is not in itself damning. By Andrew C. McCarthy

I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude on FBI agent Peter Strzok, who is now enmeshed in a political storm involving both the Clinton and the Trump investigations. You know why? Well . . . it’s because I can’t stand the Clintons.

What difference does that make? Well, because I didn’t like them any better in 2001.

That was when I used to run the satellite U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York — the office based in White Plains that oversees federal law enforcement in six counties north of the Bronx. This venue gave me supervision for a time over a piece of the Clinton pardons investigation, the probe that arose out of clemency grants Bill Clinton issued in the last hours of his presidency. One involved four defendants convicted of a massive financial fraud in New Square (which is in Rockland County). They were members of a Hasidic upstate community that tended to vote as a bloc, and so the theory was that Clinton had commuted their prison sentences in exchange for the community’s electoral support for his wife, Hillary Clinton, who then was running for the Senate.

As readers of these columns may recall, I believe the Clinton pardons were deeply corrupt, and that the officials involved in them should never again have been permitted to hold positions of public trust. But whether people are fit for political office is a very different question from whether they should be subjected to a federal criminal prosecution. On that question, I was a strong “no.”

It didn’t matter how I felt about Bill and Hillary personally or politically — which was no secret to my law-enforcement friends and colleagues. This was a strict legal matter, and my sworn duty, like that of every other Justice Department prosecutor, was to enforce the law without fear or favor. President Clinton had the unreviewable authority to grant clemency. While the unsavory rationale for the commutations was obvious, it was far from clear that a politically motivated pardon was actionable, even if we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there had been a corrupt quid pro quo arrangement — which we couldn’t. End of story.

Donald Trump Strikes a Blow against International Anti-Semitism By moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem, the U.S. confronts the bigoted double standards of the international community. By David French

President Trump’s decision to formally recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and to announce plans to move America’s embassy to the seat of Israel’s government is one of the best, most moral, and important decisions of his young administration. On this issue, he is demonstrating greater resolve than Republican and Democratic presidents before him, and he is defying some of the worst people in the world.

Think I’m overstating this? Think I’m too enthusiastic about an isolated diplomatic maneuver — especially when that maneuver, to quote the New York Times, “isolates the U.S.” and “has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders”? Let’s consider some law, history, and context.

First, sovereign nations are entitled to name their capital, and it is the near-universal practice of other nations to locate their embassies in that same capital. I say “near-universal” because the nations of the world have steadfastly refused to recognize Israel’s capital. They’ve steadfastly placed their embassies outside of Jerusalem. They do so in spite of the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the City of David and in spite of the fact that no conceivable peace settlement would turn over the seat of Israel’s government to Palestinian control — even if parts of East Jerusalem are reserved for a Palestinian capital. Israel’s government sits on Israeli land, and it will remain Israeli land.

Yet the international community condemns America for recognizing reality, for treating Israel the way the world treats every other nation. Why?

From the birth of the modern nation-state of Israel, an unholy mixture of anti-Semites and eliminationists have both sought to drive the Jewish people into the sea and — when military measures failed — isolate the Jewish nation diplomatically, militarily, and culturally. Working through the U.N. and enabled by Soviet-bloc (and later) European allies, these anti-Semites and eliminationists have waged unrelenting “lawfare” against Israel. (Lawfare is the abuse of international law and legal processes to accomplish military objectives that can’t be achieved on the battlefield.)

Why Carbon Taxes Actually Increase Global Emissions By Spencer P. Morrison

As the hysteria over global warming heats up, carbon taxes have become the “cool” option. Environmentalists love them. So do politicians, who are more than happy to raise taxes while scoring political points.https://amgreatness.com/2017/12/06/why-carbon-taxes-actually-increase-global-emissions/

Carbon taxes, or other analogous pricing schemes, are now prevalent in Western Europe, and are making headway in North America. For example, California recently joined forces with the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec to create an integrated cap-and-trade carbon market.

On top of this, many well-known economists support carbon taxes, thinking they’re the best way to mitigate man’s contribution to climate change. A relatively new report written by thirteen leading economists under the direction of professors Nicholas Stern and Joseph Stiglitz—who won a Nobel Prize in 2001—recommends the adoption of a global carbon tax. The tax would value carbon emissions somewhere between 50 and 100 USD per ton by 2030, and would cost upwards of $4 trillion. Theoretically, the tax would raise the cost of using carbon-intensive sources of energy, thereby nudging producers to switch from fossil fuels to “green energy” sources like wind and solar power. Likewise, it would raise the cost of electricity, thus creating an incentive to use energy more efficiently.

As an abstract principle of theory, this seems to make sense. There’s just one problem. It won’t work.

In reality, carbon taxes are just that: taxes. They’re a money-grab dressed up with good intentions. Worse still, carbon taxes will not reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, adopting carbon taxes in the West will actually raise global carbon emissions by offshoring economic activity from relatively environmentally-friendly places, like the USA and Germany, to places with lax environmental laws, like China.

Open Markets & Offshoring

Wealth is like water: it flows to the lowest possible point, and continues to do so until the level is equal. This is why consumers chase cheaper goods, why investors look for undervalued companies, and why multinationals offshore to cheaper markets. This last point—offshoring—is why Western carbon taxes will actually increase global emissions.

Monumental Dishonesty By Mark Pulliam

Walk around any college campus, and you will see the names of distinguished faculty and generous donors adorning most of the buildings. Likewise, many campuses feature statues, memorials, or plaques dedicated to individuals or events of historical significance to that particular school, or the school’s home state. Such monuments typically seek to connect us with the past by preserving the memory of someone or something of consequence—institutional history.https://amgreatness.com/2017/12/06/monumental-dishonesty/

Remembering the past is not the same as celebrating it, but erasing the past dooms us to forget the lessons it offers—both good and bad.

Although the coverage in the media has dissipated, the craze for monument destruction has not abated in the wake of the Charlottesville uproar this summer. Indeed it has spread, especially on college campuses. Oregon State University is just one school where the mania has reached a fever pitch. Not content to erase all memory of those with confirmed pro-slavery views (in a state that never allowed slavery), OSU has now moved on—in many cases without solid or tangible evidence—to remove the names of persons rumored or “suspected” of possibly harboring such regrettable views.

But OSU is not unique in its willingness to tear down its past.

In recent years, other universities—including my alma mater, the University of Texas—have begun renaming buildings and mothballing statuary recognizing Confederate-era figures who have fallen out of political fashion. The stated concern is that students with delicate sensibilities might be offended by a reminder of uncomfortable periods in history, in the unlikely event that they even bothered to notice the objectionable statues or were aware of the figures whose names are engraved on the pedestal or building wall. Texas was part of the Confederacy, so cleansing the UT campus of imagery related to the Civil War effectively expunges an important part of the state’s heritage.

I suspect that the real motive for removing historical references is not to make the campus “inclusive,” or to provide students with a “safe space,” but rather of advancing identity politics—pitting people against one another based on group characteristics. Another factor is a simple desire on the part of the Left—now dominant in higher education—to exert its power. As John Davidson has noted, “the purpose of this relentless war on the past is not really to adjudicate America’s historical sins or educate the young about them, but to justify political force in the present day.”

The Reality of Jerusalem Trump honors a campaign pledge on the Israeli capital.

President Trump honored a campaign pledge on Wednesday when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision is hardly the radical policy departure that critics claim, and Mr. Trump accompanied it with an embrace of the two-state solution for Palestine that Presidents of both parties have long supported.

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 in a bill President Clinton declined to veto. Other Presidents have agreed in principle, and even campaigned on it, but in office they used a waiver to put off any formal recognition or move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The difference is that Mr. Trump apparently meant what he said as a candidate.

Mr. Trump called his decision on Wednesday “a recognition of reality,” and he’s right. Israel’s parliament, Supreme Court and the president and prime minister’s residences are housed in Jerusalem, and U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State meet their Israeli counterparts there.

Yet official U.S. policy is that both Israel and the Palestinians must agree on the future status of Jerusalem, since the Palestinians claim the city as their capital too. President Trump isn’t taking sides on that issue. The White House proclamation acknowledges that “Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue” and doesn’t distinguish between West Jerusalem, which houses Israel’s government, and East Jerusalem, which Israel has administered since the 1967 Six Day War.

Mr. Trump combined his Embassy move with renewed intent to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and he doesn’t rule out a Palestinian state as part of the solution. Administration officials reiterated that intention Wednesday, saying progress is being made behind the scenes. Color us skeptical given the long history of failure, but the U.S. is trying.

One way the Palestinian Authority could signal a new seriousness would be to stop paying the families of Palestinians who kill innocent Israelis. The House passed the Taylor Force Act Tuesday, which would reduce U.S. aid to the Palestinians until they renounce pay-for-slay payments. A Senate vote may follow this month.

Arab leaders denounced the Embassy move, but we wonder how long the fury will last. The Sunni Arabs also confront the threats of Islamic terrorism and Iranian imperialism, and the Palestinians are a third order concern. If the movement of an American Embassy that was signaled more than 20 years ago is enough to scuttle peace talks, then maybe the basis for peace doesn’t yet exist.


FIRST: When the Arabs, namely, Jordan, illegally occupied and controlled East Jerusalem, the city was a dump. Shrines, churches, cemeteries, homes, parks and schools were vandalized and trashed. The kinglet of Jordan, Abdullah, told President Trump that moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem would” pre-empt a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He also emphasized that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region. How ironic. The kinglet and his family are protected night and day by Israeli intel, and despised by the Palarabs who remember “Black September” the uprising in 1970 when his smarter and pluckier father killed and deported several thousand PLO upstarts. He would be the second to fall if there were a Palarab sovereignty in the “West Bank.”

SECOND: Israel has scrupulously restored the ancient city with respect and protection of the churches, synagogues,parks, monuments, cemeteries and shrines of all faiths with guarantees of the safety of worshipers from all over the earth.

THIRD: Every single so called “peace process” obtained Israeli concessions in exchange for promises that were flouted before the ink was dry on the agreements. The Oslo accords were followed by the most savage and prolonged series of terrorism that claimed the lives of innocents…. babies in their cribs, teens on hikes, diners in cafes and pizzerias, shoppers in markets, revelers at a Passover dinner….the list is endless and these attacks took place within the cities in Israel that are not the falsely disputed “West Bank.” The Palarab schools, press, and sermons continue to preach unrelenting anti-Semitism, and reward barbarism financially and with monuments and streets hailing them.

So now we have a President who, unlike his pantywaist predecessors, is fulfilling a promise and all the hand-wringers and concession processors are in a snit. How predictable. rsk

Turkey: Laundering Billions for Iran by Burak Bekdil

In one audio recording, Erdogan was heard ordering his son to get rid of all the cash he kept at home; and his son, after trying for several hours, tells him there are still millions left. Erdogan denied the authenticity of the evidence and claimed this was a coup d’état against his elected administration. He then purged all prosecutors and police officers investigating the charges.

Zarrab’s testimony as a witness, as well as documents displayed at trial “would show that this conspiracy to launder money for Iran was not a rogue operation. It would show the Turkish government at its very highest level understood what was going on — and approved of it.” — Nate Schenkkan, Freedom House, USA.

“Former and current opposition figures already face prosecution and threats should they help publicize corruption allegations against Erdogan. The potential conviction of Turkish government officials plays to Erdogan’s growing anti-Western rhetoric. It serves as further evidence, for Erdogan and his supporters, that the West will not tolerate promising, strong leaders who pursue independent foreign policies. This perception feeds popular narratives that Islamists in Turkey and elsewhere hold about Western or American policies in the region. It also resonates well with extremely high levels of popular anti-Americanism in Turkey.” — A. Kadir Yildirim, research scholar, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“He has a strong paranoid orientation. He is ready for retaliation and, not without reason, sees himself as surrounded by enemies. But he ignores his role in creating those enemies, and righteously threatens his targets. The conspiracy theories he spins are not merely for popular consumption in the Arab world, but genuinely reflect his paranoid mindset. He is convinced that the United States, Israel and Iran have been in league for the purpose of eliminating him, and finds a persuasive chain of evidence for this conclusion.”

— Explaining Saddam Hussein: A Psychological Profile, by Dr. Jerrold M. Post, presented to the House Armed Services Committee, December 1990.

In the text above replace the words “in the Arab world” with “Turkey,” and delete the word “Iran” in the preceding line, and one will get a short paragraph “Explaining Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A Psychological Profile.” A number of high-profile investigations developing on American soil are threatening Erdogan’s legitimacy while Turkey’s strongman resorts to the tactic he knows best: spin global conspiracy theories to influence voter behavior in a country the where average schooling is a mere 6.5 years.

A Two State Solution for Europe? by Judith Bergman

A poll conducted this summer found that 29% of French Muslims found Sharia to be more important to them than French laws. It also found that 67% of Muslims want their children to study Arabic, and 56% think it should be taught in public schools.

A 2016 UK poll showed that 43% of British Muslims “believed that parts of the Islamic legal system should replace British law while only 22 per cent opposed the idea”. Another poll from 2016 found that 23% of all Muslims supported the introduction of sharia law in some areas of Britain, 39% agreed that “wives should always obey their husbands,” and 52% of all British Muslims believe that homosexuality should be illegal.

French President Emmanuel Macron blamed France, not Islam, for the increased radicalization, which he said should lead France to “question itself.” According to Macron, then, the parallel Islamic societies of France, have nothing to do with Islam. They are the fault of the French republic. Did the French republic impose sharia and the subjugation of women in the suburbs, described by one female survivor as “hell”? Was the French republic behind the recent distribution of leaflets stipulating “if you meet a Jew, kill him”?

A French intellectual, Christian Moliner, recently suggested that France should establish a Muslim state-within-a-state that adheres to sharia law, inside the borders of France, to avoid a civil war. Warning against refusing to deal with the problems of Islamism in Europe because of political correctness, he stated:

“Out of the fear of appearing Islamophobic, to satisfy this bustling fringe of Muslims, governments are ready to accept the spread of radical practices throughout the country…. [some] territories are outside the control of the Republic. The police can come only in force and for limited durations… We can never convert the 30% of Muslims who demand the introduction of sharia law to the merits of our democracy and secularism. We are now allowing segregation to take place that does not say its name.”

Moliner’s solution?

“… Establish a dual system of law in France… one territory, one government, but two peoples: the French with the usual laws and Muslims with Qur’anic status (but only for those who choose it)… The latter will have the right to vote… but they will apply Sharia in everyday life, to regulate matrimonial laws (which will legalize polygamy) and inheritance… They will no longer apply to French judges for disputes between Muslims… conflicts between Christians and believers will remain the responsibility of ordinary courts…”

Moliner’s proposal represents a total surrender to political Islam and is of course outrageous, especially considering that Muslims only comprise a little more than five percent of the French population. What he suggests, however, merely formalizes the status quo that already exists — and not only in France — even if it abandons reform-minded Muslims and eventually, with their collapsing demography, the non-Muslims there.